Washington, DC — Today, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022, alongside Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Gillibrand (D-NY), and Whitehouse (D-RI). This measure seeks to ensure people can travel to access abortion care and other reproductive health care. It also protects the rights of healthcare providers to provide reproductive healthcare in states where it is legal, even to out-of-state residents.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement:
“It’s bad enough that extremist Republicans are enacting abortion bans in state after state, but it is beyond the pale to attempt to stop residents of these states from leaving to access the care the GOP is so hellbent on denying them. We thank Senator Cortez Masto for introducing the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act. This crucial legislation will ensure that no person is criminalized for accessing abortion care or other reproductive healthcare in another state and ensure health care providers have a right to provide that care to those who need it. Now more than ever, we need bold leadership from our lawmakers to protect our freedom to decide at a time when extreme forces are laser-focused on stripping it from us.
Last month, the anti-choice supermajority on the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This cruel decision opened the door for extremist state lawmakers to ban abortion. Thus far, 12 states have bans in place, and many more are rushing to do the same. Roughly half of the states in the country are at risk of banning abortion.
Anti-choice lawmakers are already drafting proposals to prohibit people from traveling across state lines to access care. Congress must act to reaffirm the right to travel to ensure that people traveling to seek abortion care and the people who help them are able to do so without the threat of civil or criminal penalties. The people hurt most by these bans and restrictions are those who already face barriers to accessing abortion care—including women; Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; those working to make ends meet; the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; and people with disabilities.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.